We live by faith
(J. A. James, "The True Christian" 1846)
"We live by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7
Faith is the root of all true piety. Christians need faith
for sanctification, consolation, and perseverance. Every
act of the spiritual life is an act of faith. Every step in
the spiritual walk is a step of faith. The Christian's
course is not one of merely 'doing', but of believing.
His prayers are the breathings of faith;
his works are the actings of faith;
his penitence is the tear of faith;
his joy is the smile of faith;
his hopes are the anticipations of faith;
his fears are the tremblings of faith;
his strength is the confidence of faith;
his submission is the acquiescence of faith.
Faith is the eye which looks at Christ.
Faith is the foot which moves to Christ.
Faith is the hand which receives Christ.
Faith is the mouth which feeds upon Christ.
It is not only by the activity of obedience, but by
the 'silent and passive power of dependence', that
the Christian is made strong and victorious.
"We live by faith, not by sight." Here is the reason
why so many professors are so worldly and so weak;
why they make such little progress, and such small
attainments. They are so much under the dominion
of sense, and are so almost wholly given up to a life
of sight, that they have neither time nor inclination
to look at the things which are unseen and eternal.
There is in them no habitual looking to Christ, no
abiding in Him, no vivid consciousness that all their
springs are in Him, and that it is from His fullness
they are to receive necessary grace.
We must prefer the invisible realities of eternity, to
the visible things of time; and amid all that is . . .
dazzling to sight,
gratifying to appetite,
and dear to passion,
by faith, spend a life of . . .
mortification of sin, and
separation from the world.
Be this then your sincere and earnest prayer, my dear
friends, "Lord, increase our faith!" Be willing to have
the world displaced from your soul, to make room for the
objects of faith! Be ever ready to come from the dazzling
glare of earthly scenes, to dwell in the calm and holy light
of faith. Study the Scriptures, and meditate much upon their
contents. Frequent and devout converse with the objects of
faith, is the best way to have it increased.
Watch diligently against the influence of those objects
which have a fatal tendency to eclipse faith's light, to
obstruct its operation, and enfeeble its life--namely,
sensual pleasure; eager pursuit of the world; and a too
intimate converse with those who mind earthly things.